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Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup – Kid-Approved!

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I’m a huge fan of soup. It’s easy to throw together, easy to freeze for later, and a healthy meal choice. My family also loves southwestern and Mexican flavors, so I created this chicken tortilla soup to meld the two.

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’m all about taking old favorite recipes and making them healthier. Luckily, soup is already a pretty healthy food and just needs a few tweaks. Here are some of the ways this soup can support optimal health.

Immune Boosting

Hot peppers are a great addition to a meal when you have a runny nose or other mild illness. The capsaicin in the peppers can ease pain and is also known to support the immune system.

Bone broth is another immune-supporting food. Bone broth from grass-fed sources contains:

  • calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous
  • collagen for healthy hair, skin, and nails
  • gelatin (which is a protein and contains amino acids proline and glycine)

Bone broth is also soothing to the digestive tract so it’s great for upset tummies.

Grain-Free

Chicken tortilla soup wouldn’t be the same without the tortillas. But my family doesn’t eat grains (except for white rice occasionally), so I had to find a tortilla chip alternative. The chips I use in this recipe are made with cassava flour, so they’re also nut-free and safe for most people on an autoimmune diet. (And don’t worry… they’re extremely delicious!)

Legume Optional

I don’t eat beans too often, but I know some people can’t eat a chicken tortilla soup without some beans. They’re easy to add in if you want them and are just as easy to leave out if you don’t.

Homemade Condiments!

This recipe calls for salsa verde as part of the broth. I love this salsa because it uses tomatillos instead of tomatoes for a slightly tangier taste and denser texture. If you don’t like salsa verde, you can use regular salsa instead. I also like this fermented salsa recipe because it adds beneficial bacteria and digestive enzymes to the meal.

A Simple Weeknight Meal

I’m a big fan of one-pot meals, Instant Pot recipes, or other dinner ideas that make meal prep quick and easy (and if clean-up is short, even better!). This chicken tortilla soup recipe fits the bill.

It takes just a few minutes in the Instant Pot, so it can be ready to eat after a long day. You can throw it in the Crock-Pot in the morning and have dinner ready by the time everyone is home at night.

It’s also easy to freeze (just leave out the toppings until it’s reheated). Let the soup cool and measure 2 cup portions into a freezer container of choice (I like to use glass). Freeze for up to two months.

Here’s how to make it!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Homemade chicken tortilla soup made with roasted salsa verde, black beans, and lots of veggies.

Instructions

  • In the Instant Pot, combine the chicken, onion, garlic, salsa verde, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, and salt.

  • Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, with a quick pressure release when the time is up.

  • Turn on the saute function and stir in the black beans, bell pepper, and zucchini.

  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper and zucchini are tender.

  • Top with optional toppings and enjoy!

Notes

Easily make this in the Crock-Pot or on the stove using the same method as above, just simmer it until the chicken is cooked through. Cook time is about 4-6 hours on low for the Crock-Pot, or 20-30 minutes simmering on the stove.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 222.62kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.02g | Protein: 17.65g | Fat: 12.78g | Saturated Fat: 3.47g | Cholesterol: 54.43mg | Sodium: 767.07mg | Potassium: 521.29mg | Fiber: 1.17g | Sugar: 5.04g | Vitamin A: 1122.17IU | Vitamin C: 35.59mg | Calcium: 29.54mg | Iron: 1.51mg

 

Want More Southwest-Inspired Recipes?

My family loves southwestern flavors, so we include one of these recipes in our meal rotation regularly.

  • Tex-Mex Lettuce Tacos – I’m always looking to add more vegetables to my family’s meals. This recipe is an easy way to do that!
  • Huevos Rancheros – This traditional Mexican breakfast is so simple it’s hardly worth a recipe. I discovered this delicious meal in Texas and have made it at home ever since.
  • Mexican Beef and Rice Bowls – So Simple to make, this recipe tops my list for easy weeknight recipes. This is easy to customize to each person’s preference with a variety of topping options.
  • Chipotle Style Burrito Bowl – Since we don’t eat grains, I’ve had to come up with clever ways to serve the Mexican and southwest food we love. This burrito bowl is one example (and tastes very similar to a Chipotle take-out meal!).
  • Paleo Tex-Mex Casserole – If you want the flavors of the southwest but in an easy to cook and serve form, try this casserole version.

I love that Mexican and Southwest food is so simple, but full of flavor!

What’s your favorite chicken tortilla soup recipe?



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Happy Siblings Day!!! (Just don’t try this at home!! )⁠…

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Happy Siblings Day!!! (Just don’t try this at home!! 🤣💕)⁠



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The COVID-19 Crisis Is a Trauma Pandemic in the Making

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The majority of the attention on COVID-19 has focused on slowing down the progression of the spread of this virus. The importance of “flattening the curve” to support our medical system has understandably taken center stage in the media. However, as a trauma therapist, I see a pandemic of another kind brewing as well, which isn’t being focused on enough. The social, mental, and cultural impact of going through a global pandemic will leave a psychological trauma pandemic behind. 

As we have been reminded in this situation, it’s important to be prepared for the medical impact of a pandemic. Our society also needs to prepare for the psychological impact of a crisis like this. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have been socially isolated and have experienced dramatic and rapid losses in their lives, all while having little preparation for a crisis of this magnitude. We obviously weren’t ready for the medical consequences, but as a trauma therapist, I would argue that we’re not currently ready for the mental health consequences, either. The stress and fear that have come from this pandemic, along with the global loss and isolation required to combat this are the perfect ingredients for psychological trauma and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

When the dust settles from this crisis, almost everyone will be impacted. This isn’t to say we won’t recover. However, the impact from the stress and grief people have experienced in a short period of time will impact us long after this is pandemic has ended. 

The Foundations for Trauma During the COVID-19 Crisis Are There

The rapid shift people have had to make from a “normal life” to extreme uncertainty in a matter of days and weeks gave little time to orient and adjust to the changes that were coming. Even worse, people have experienced literal shock after coming out of denial, but have had to override their own coping process to perform for their jobs, families and partners. People are trying to show competence and confidence while they’re struggling. This is a recipe for trauma. When people override their emotional experiences, the odds of long-term mental health consequences and social consequences go up. In our field, we’ll see people dealing with relationship, social, physical and even sexual problems that are related to unresolved traumas from years ago. The symptom might not even seem related to the original traumatic situations.

Trauma is even more likely in this crisis because of social distancing. Obviously, I believe that people should listen to their local social distancing recommendations. At the same time, these requirements come with consequences, which can include leftover trauma. PTSD often comes from people doing the “right thing” at the time of a trauma. Sometimes we have to override or ignore our instinct to keep ourselves and others safe. Unfortunately, this also means that the experience is likely to leave some unresolved baggage behind.  

Trauma First Aid

Awareness, Connection, Self-Kindness, and Acceptance

You can give yourself a head start in your healing by focusing on these four things. First, practice being aware of your emotions. Although you can’t just let all of your emotions freely come out at any time, you can recognize when you’re overriding them, log the situation, and share that emotional experience with someone you trust. It’s amazing how powerful this can be and it decreases the chance that you’ll hold onto traumatic feelings after the crisis passes. 

Connection is required to navigate through trauma. In-person connection helps us cope with traumatic situations. Although we’re fortunate to be able to connect online, we also have to be real about the limitations of this. It’s helpful, but it’s not the same as in-person contact. Again, by doing the right thing and committing to social distancing, we’re having to override this important need. I recommend that people remain aware of the limitation, while using the technology while we’re required to do so. Then as the threat passes, make an effort to engage in social connections to help re-acclimate. 

People are often hard on themselves for how they’re coping with a trauma. We often downplay our own intense emotions and tell ourselves that we shouldn’t have them. Do the opposite. Be kind to yourself and accept the emotions that you’re having. Doing so will decrease the likelihood that these emotions will stick with you in a negative way. 

If you notice someone seems in shock after they have come out of denial, support them. You’ll be amazed at how much that can build your own resilience to trauma. We call this co-regulating in our field. 

Finally, it’s important to note that you can do amazing first aid and still walk away with leftovers from a traumatic time. Trauma isn’t about weakness. Remember, it often comes from us trying to do the right things in challenging times. The good news is that there are a lot of therapists out there who are trained in trauma who can help. Whether it’s first aid or problems down the road, trauma therapy can help. 

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How to Become a Fitness Model

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Everyone is busy. But considering what is at stake, making time for exercise needs to be a priority right now. Thirty minutes a day is not too much when you get right down to it. Cut one prime-time show out of your evening television-viewing schedule. Get up a half-hour earlier each morning. Use half of your lunch hour for a brisk walk. You can find time if you look hard enough for it.

#Exercise #Fitness #Model

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